Books with Royal Bookplates
Marie Adelaide de France
Marie Adelaide de France, "Madame Adelaide" (Marie Adélaïde de France, Madame Adélaïde; 1732-1800) was a French princess, a daughter of King Louis XV of France, a sister of Victoire de France and Sophie Philippine de France, and a great-aunt of Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X. She was never married. During the French Revolution, she left France for Italy. In late life, Marie Adelaide lived on Corfu, and finally settled in Trieste, where she died in 1800.
1) Moncrif, François-Augustin Paradis de (1687-1770).
Les Chats — Paris: chez Gabriel-François Quillau, 1727.
2) Bourdon de Sigrais, Claude-Guillaume (1715-1791).
Histoire des rats, pour servir à l'histoire universelle. Perlege Moeonio cantatos carmine Mures, et frontem nugiss olvere disce meis. Martial. — A Ratopolis, 1738.
8o (130 x 200 mm). A red marocain binding with gold embossing. Marie Adelaide de France's super ex libris — the coat of arms is placed on the front and back covers (is established by: OHR, pl. 2514, №11).
Shelf mark: 18.104.22.168
A fine red marocain-bound book, with Marie Adelaide de France's super ex libris, came to the our library in 1925 together with collection of someone from the noble Ratkov-Rozhnov family, perhaps Ilya Vladimirovich.
The book comprises two individual works separately created at different times. One of them is the first edition of a scandalously famous treatise Histoire des chats (History of Cats); written by François-Augustin de Paradis de Moncrif in 1727. In this satire, the notable French writer parodies pedantic historians, mocking their style and their vision of the world. The pompously serious text describes the history of cats from the time of Ancient Egypt.
At first, the joke seemed to be a success: many readers took the treatise at its face value and loudly insulted the author, demonstrating their own wimplessness. Voltaire honored the author with his approval for this and even called him "a griffon of history". The metaphor meant that Moncrif with his book was "a gravedigger" of the already dying manner of writing history. However, later, the satirist paid for his wit. The ignorant persons did not forgive him their shame and really persecuted him: one day somebody even furtively put a cat in the meeting of the French Academy. In the end, Moncriff publicly renounced his work. The publication contains a large number of illustrations which also contributed to the great commercial success of the book.
The other book contains the second edition of the The History of Rats by Bourdon de Sigrais (1738), inspired by Moncrif's Cats. The fake publisher's details on the title page looks funny: allegedly the book is printed in the city of Ratopolis ("the City of Rats"), although the place of publication was Rotterdam.